Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Practical Tuesday August 25th

8/23 - 9/23


Planet: Mercury
Element: Earth
Modality: Mutable


Virgos tend to be extremely practical and and like things just so. They analyse every choice no matter how big or small. Virgos like things "just so" in their life from their kitchen to their bodies. Most of the time this is focused internally but some Virgos expect perfection in everyone.

The sign of Virgo rules the abdomen, including the stomach. Virgos often have sensitive stomachs and digestive tracts and can be susceptible to GI infections, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, and other disorders of the gut. Make sure you take your probiotic and get your colonoscopy!

On to love!

Ideal Relationships

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Best to Avoid

Aries, Leo, Sagitarius

Astrological Symbol

Monday, August 24, 2015

Zodiac Terminology

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to be posting information on astrological signs. There are some terms, however, that I will take some time to define.

Element: Each astrological sign falls under the rule of one of the four elements

Planet: Each sign falls under the rule of a planet (and the Moon). Our planets are named after Roman Gods/Goddesses. Planets can influence personalities and/or paths in life.

Modality: This is the term I use not everyone does. This depends where a sign falls in a season: Cardinal, starts the season; Fixed, in the middle of a season; Mutable, end of the season. This usually has a direct influence on personality!

Body Part: Yes, signs rule different areas of the body. These may indicate body characteristics or point to possible illnesses or disorders.

You SUN SIGN is the zodiac sign that is on the horizon at the time of your birth. They change approximately every 6 weeks an there are 12 in a year.

Expanding on the basics, each "planet" (including the Moon and Pluto) in the solar system influences your personal astrological chart, but we're not going to get into that here. If you want more information I suggest reviewing one of the many books or websites on the subject.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Magickal Monday: August 17th

Sorry this is getting out late, the auto post didn't work. :(

GROUNDING. GROUNDING. GROUNDING.

When I was first learning witchcraft nearly 20 years ago, this was drilled into my head. We started and ended every lesson with grounding. I cannot stress this enough: grounding is important for your well being and health.


Sure, roll your eyes at me, tell me I'm exaggerating but a body cannot vibrate at a high energy state for a long period of time. What happens to a car on a rough road? Everything rattles and shakes, bolts come loose, tires go out of alignment and it becomes and expensive mess. THE SAME THING HAPPENS TO YOU. Unlike a car, we don't usually feel the vibrations caused by energy but trust me, it's there!

Short term exposure can cause headaches, nausea, hyper activity, fatigue, body aches, and a weakened immune system. Long term exposure can cause joint problems, concentration issues, chronic illnesses and cell mutations (a.k.a. cancer).

So, here's a really simple grounding exercise that can be done at any time. I suggest the you do it in the morning while you're getting ready for the day, before bed, and before and after any magickal work. It's super easy and once you get used to doing it, it can be done in as little as a minute.

Grounding Exercise

You may wish to do this barefoot in the grass or dirt to start with. Stand (or sit if you are unable to stand) with your feet about shoulder width apart. Close your eyes and take 2-3 deep breaths filling your lungs completely and breathing out slowly. Focus on your feet, imagine they are roots burrowing deep into the ground. The excess energy from your body draining down your legs, into your feet, and down into the earth.

Note: You can also use this to pull energy in if you are in need of some extra.

Centering
a.k.a. Balancing the Energy Within

You can take this mediation further by continuing it into a centering exercise. Centering balances the energies in your body.

Pull the energy from the earth up through your roots, into your legs, up your trunk, and out your head and arms which now become branches. The energy goes out toward the sun. Pull in the energy from the sun, warm and nourishing. Pull that energy down through your branches, into your trunk. Feel where the energies merge in your belly. The earth and water from your roots and the air and fire from your branches. Bring those energies to balance releasing what you do not need.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Practical Tuesday: August 11

As Pagans, we often beat ourselves up for "not doing enough". Unlike most religions who have set days of worship and strict guidelines, we have our 13 moons and our 8 holidays. Granted, some of us work in groups and are dedicated individuals. Many Pagans, however, work as solitaries and have no one but themselves to keep them on task.

We need to be gentler on ourselves. It's the 21st century and we know that even if we don't celebrate EXACTLY on the holiday the Earth will still turn, the planets will still circle the sun, and the seasons will still change. Honor the gods in your own way: while driving to work (I do daily); cooking your meals; cleaning your house; playing with your children (be they human or fuzzy). Treat every day as a Holy day by doing little things.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lughnasadh, August 1

Lughnasadh, is the festival of the god Lugh and of grains. Often seen as the Christian version, Lammas - note: if is ends in -mas it's a Christian name.

SpiralPath Designs, DeviantArt.com

Lugh is the God of craftsmanship. Often pictured as a blacksmith, he was also a wheelwright (he made cart/carriage wheels), a bard (a storyteller), a builder, and many other skilled crafts. I'd call him the original Jack-of-all-trades...maybe we should call it Lugh-of-all-trades? Lugh is the deity you call on for help and guidance on any craft from art to woodworking, architecture to building.

Statue of Lugh

Being the harvest of grains, the foods of the holiday tend to be breads (sorry GF people!). Our celebration included corn bread, fresh strawberries - blueberries, raspberries, etc are excellent too, and our "slaughtered cow". Since it is the 21st century (and I live on a dairy farm) we didn't ACTUALLY slaughter a cow, we just took some meat from the freezer and cooked it in the crock pot with wine and herbs (also a seasonal foods). 

Traditionally, Lughnasadh is celebrated by hiking and/or visiting springs and streams. We celebrated by hiking to Brunswick Springs. We brought our feast as a picnic and did a small ritual. 

There were many visitors to the Springs while we were there and we were able to share the story of the Springs with them as well as hear their stories. P.S. I'm not speaking in the royal "we", I celebrated with a friend.

This is also a great time of year to work with other Pagans. Many groups offer festivals this time of year. I'm lucky enough to have two active groups within a couple of hours of me that both offer a Lughnasadh festival during the first weekend in August. 

Templefest is put on by the Temple of Witchcraft located in Salem, NH. They are a very active group and have a regular listing of events on their website. One of the co-founders is Pagan author/teacher Christopher Penczak.  

Laurelin Community of Bethel, VT, also offers an annual Lughnasadh festival as well as a monthly meeting. I sporadically participate with this group. (Sometimes I feel like a group, sometimes I don't.) They usually offer a variety of activities, workshops, and merchants. Founder is Pagan author/teacher and man of many skills, Kirk White. 

References:

God Checker: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/celtic-mythology.php?deity=LUGH

About Religion, Lugh: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/godsandgoddesses/p/Lugh.htm